Gather Around the Table at The Well Kitchen + Table
Walk into the airy, modern space of The Well Kitchen + Table in Nashville, Tennessee and your eyes will instantly land on the welcoming harvest-style table standing front and center.This thirty-foot communal table, built from reclaimed barn wood, epitomizes the heart of this beloved local eatery.
It sets the stage for what The Well does best: bringing people together through food and meaningful connection.The large harvest table, affectionately nicknamed “Willie” by the staff, perfectly encapsulates owners
Elizabeth and Alex Belew’s vision for an inclusive space where strangers become friends and the community gathers to break bread.Since opening in 2013, The Well has made its elongated table the hub for celebrating shared meals, conversation, and camaraderie. Learn the story behind this special restaurant and its iconic centerpiece table.
The Well’s Start as a Meal Gathering Vision
When Elizabeth and Alex Belew moved from North Carolina to Nashville in 2011, they immediately noticed a need for community among the city’s transplant population. Many newcomers to Nashville lacked connection beyond their jobs or neighborhoods.
As lovers of food, hospitality and people, Elizabeth and Alex saw the power of mealtime to foster meaningful relationships. This inspired their idea for a new gathering place focused on chef-made food, togetherness, and uplifting the community.
After hosting dinner parties in their home, the vision for a brick-and-mortar restaurant anchored by a long, welcoming table became clear. The couple’s shared values of unpretentious generosity, sustainability and social responsibility would guide this new Nashville community space.
Willie the Table: Crafting a Gathering Place Centerpiece
To manifest their big table vision, Alex turned to his woodworking roots. He sourced reclaimed barn wood and other repurposed materials to hand-build a 30-foot farmhouse-style harvest table as the restaurant’s centerpiece.With its well-worn patina, natural imperfections, and solid stability, the lovingly crafted Willie evokes a sense of substance, heritage and warmth.
Its distressed wood grain tells a story of enduring through seasons and generations. Surrounded by open seating without partitions, the table promotes community through proximity and eye contact.Willie’s long, slender footprint fits urban spatial constraints while accommodating large groups. Custom fabricated benches maximize seating capacity and accessibility.This inviting centerpiece table encapsulates the unfussy honesty and egalitarian spirit at the core of The Well’s vision. Willie’s communal format says “Pull up a seat among friends.”
The Well Kitchen + Table: Cultivating Community and Sustainability at The Well
With beloved Willie standing solidly at the center, The Well’s house-made menus and convivial vibe built a loyal local following. Loyal patrons appreciate the eatery’s laid-back warmth, nuanced flavors, and service with a purpose.
Produce comes from local farms, kitchen waste feeds the needy, and customers connect across cultures. The Well prioritizes environmental stewardship and partners with area non-profits to care for the vulnerable.
True to its name, The Well nourishes patrons physically through outstanding farm-to-table fare, while also feeding the soul. Shared meals cultivate a sense of belonging. Strangers grow into friends. Healing, hope and humanity flourish around the table.
Expanding the Welcome Table
Given Willie’s pivotal role, The Well involved their table maker Alex to design custom tables when expanding to three Nashville locations. Each new site features a large centerpiece table anchoring an inclusive, hospitable space.
The Well also offers online cooking classes and sells quality pantry goods nationwide —extending their communal table farther. Whether at the original 12South location or the new East Nashville outpost, you’ll find Willie standing sturdy, welcoming new connections over exceptional food.
At The Well, their beloved harvest table both literally and symbolically brings people together. Its warm, unvarnished ethos invites patrons to connect with food, each other, and their highest values. Gather around the table—there’s room for everyone.
Dishing Up Community and Purpose at The Well’s Nashville Spots
With its long harvest-style tables and seasonally inspired fare focused on bringing people together, The Well Kitchen + Table has become a beloved Nashville staple.Expanding on their original 12South location’s success, The Well now welcomes loyal locals and curious newcomers at two additional Music City spaces.Though each site has its own neighborhood vibe, The Well’s core commitment to sustainability and community enriches every table.
The Well’s Nashville Locations
The Original – 12South Neighborhood
This cozy cottage turned restaurant still feels like dining in a friend’s home. String lights and greenery accent the historic space’s charm. Willie, the thirty-foot centerpiece table handcrafted by owner Alex Belew, invites communal dining. Locally sourced menu standouts include the chicken pot pie and Not-So-Boring Salad. Straddling hip yet homey, it’s a perennial neighborhood favorite.
East Nashville Outpost – Five Points
Situated in an adapted 1940s grocery store, this spacious site exudes laid-back elegance. Soaring ceilings, abundant light, and sleek finishes compose the airy interior. Custom tables echo Willie’s welcoming spirit. As The Well’s largest location, it hosts events while remaining intimate. The bar draws locals for craft cocktails and weekend brunch pairing bloody marys with chicken and waffles.
Hillsboro Village – 18th Ave South
Opening in late 2022 in a restored older building, this location feels both vintage and modern. Green and white tiled floors pop against exposed brick walls.Expanded coffee and bakery options complement the signature farm-driven menus. An intimate patio and smaller tables spread The Well’s welcoming energy within a neighborhood setting.
The Well Kitchen + Table: How The Well Infuses Care Into Every Table
Each location sources mindfully and gives generously so dining at The Well nourishes the community along with your body.
Sustaining Local Farms
By partnering with small regional farms, The Well supports regenerative agriculture practices. Seasonal produce grown with care adds nuanced flavor and nutrition to dishes. Frequent farm visits ensure ethics align.
Kitchen waste gets composted or recycled. Used fryer oil becomes biodiesel fuel. Eco-friendly takeout packaging minimizes refuse. Energy-saving fixtures reduce consumption.
Feeding Their Community
Each evening leftovers get donated to outreach programs fighting food scarcity. They partner with hospitality job training programs creating opportunities.
Accelerating Outreach Through The Well Foundation
Funding local initiatives supporting at-risk youth, homelessness, recovery programs, and more magnifies impact. Proceeds from gift card purchases support the foundation.
The Well’s steady expansion throughout Nashville reveals a brand committed to nurturing every community they inhabit. Dining with purpose resonates with patrons drawn to their ethos of care for people and planet. When you pull up a chair at The Well, sustainability and compassion complement the menu’s flavors.
Visit any location to experience a welcoming table where you can feel good about nourishing your body as their efforts nourish the city. The Well’s inviting tables gather more than great food; they cultivate lasting human connection, one plate at a time.